Khadi is an ideal choice for green and ethical clothing. It embodies the spirit of India’s freedom and modernity. Made from cotton, silk, wool and other natural fibers, these fabrics have been famous throughout the world since ancient times. Khadi comes in a wide range of weaves, texture and thickness – from linen like coarse khadi to highly-refined muslin. The fabric is versatile, it can be used for a variety of products, from clothing, bed linen and soft furnishings to costumes for cinema and theater.
This tradition of handmade cloth was being lost to machine made fabric when Gandhi revived it as a symbol of peace, autonomy and simplicity. It also became an effective vehicle for community action. Khadi helped fashion a new nationalistic identity, an identity which denied colonial imposition and defied traditional hierarchy.
Today the production of khadi provides sustenance to about a million people in India. About eighty percent of khadi artisans are women, often from some of the poorest communities in the country. With a more efficient technology and better regulation in place, incomes for artisans have improved over the past few years.
To learn more about khadi read our blog, ‘New Look at Khadi, the Original Ethical Cloth’
Photo: Medha Shah
Khadi London specialises in providing customised services to fashion designers. We do our best to understand our client’s needs, help them select from a range of fabric collections sourced from suppliers actively involved in social change activities. Our suppliers are located in different parts of India and have diverse capabilities.
We are not just a business. Our mission is to promote khadi globally. We are a social enterprise incorporated as a Community Interest Company (Khadi CIC). At least a third of the company’s profits are earmarked for community development activities.
We also believe in the principle of fair trade. Indian government regulates the production of khadi to ensure that spinners and weavers are paid fairly. Our goal is to extend this principle to farmers, farm workers and to tailors and other artisans in the supply chain.
We work closely with suppliers to build capacity, improve standards and designs, enhance efficiency and adopt better business practices. Together we are also exploring possibilities for using organic cotton for khadi.
Ultimately we would like to play a role in reviving khadi production centres, some of which have shut down or are on the verge of shutting down.
Photo: Misterweiss/Wikimedia Commons
Join the Movement
For us khadi is not just a fabric, it’s a movement! Over the past few years as we have found that designers, consumers and activists drawn towards khadi have a firm belief in positive change. They are driven by ethical, social and environmental concerns. Are you one of them? Do you have some spare time or other resources to help us progress? Feel free to join the movement. Here are some great ways further the cause:
- Use khadi fabrics, clothing and other products.
- Spread the word.
- Email/tweet our website link to as many friends as possible, help us build our list of friends on Facebook, put a message on every social media site you are a member of.
- Volunteer. You can help us generate design and product ideas, organise an event, help improve our presence on social media, marketing and sales, or set up a stall at a festival.
- Get a Work Experience. Contact us and we can explore areas where our interests meet. We might be able to offer you a Work Experience opportunity.
At present there are no Job Opportunities. This may change if the business grows or if we are able to secure grant funding.
Photo: © Gallica Digital Library, Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Web Design and Development
We would like to acknowledge the following for design and development of the website:
♦ Harry Hurd and Bobby Allen of Clear Honest Design for Web design and development
Photos and Photo Collections:
♦ Bobby Allen of Clear Honest Design for fabric photos
We would like to acknowledge the following for sharing photograph collections for use in the website and for blogs:
♦ Alberto Balazs, Phoebe and Isobel (Project PICO)
♦ John Alexander Skelton
“Your Vibes Attract Your Tribe”
Khadi London isn’t just about the website – the network that supports us has steadily grown over the past three years. We will be talking about it over the weeks and months to come in our blogs and elsewhere.